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2014-oscar-swag-bag

Last year’s swag bag reportedly kicked in at around the $45,000-$48000 range, representing a five-year low. Even if they don’t win an Oscar statue, all the 86th Academy Award nominees will walk away with goods in excess of $80,000. Apparently, Distinctive Assets (the company chosen to put the gift bags together) were inundated this year with requests from a long list of vendors eager to participate.

“This year we had so many vendors approach the team at Distinctive Assets wanting to be a part of the gift bag,” a company spokesperson told the Business Insider. “There are also several luxury items included which really boost up the value.”

The most expensive item on this year’s list is a $16,000 voucher for a hair restoration procedure from Chicago surgeon William Yates. On the flip side, the cheapest is a hair-clogging product worth around $6.49. The most random, IMHO, is a trip to Vegas worth roughly $9,000. It involves a meet and greet with Boyz II Men. Did I just step into a time machine and we’re in the 90s again.

I fully expect several items to be re-gifted to assistants, house staff, drivers etc. Can you see Leonardo DiCaprio using reusable dry cleaning bags? Whether they keep them or given them away, all items are taxable. Check out some other swag bag items below.

check out the entire list of contents after the jump

Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipes

In: Charge It, Donovan
valentines-day-cocktails

Excited for Valentine’s Day? Are you going out for a romantic dinner with someone special? Hosting a classy singles soiree at your place? Perhaps spending some quality alone time is in order?

Whatever you have planned, the fun quotient always goes up with a tasty cocktail in hand. Our friends over at Cruzan, Laphroaig and Basil’s Hayden sent over delicious drink recipes for us to share. Check them out below and always remember to drink responsibly.

more recipes after the jump

Top2Bottom: The All-Gay Card Game

In: Charge It, Patrick, Totally GAY!
gay-games-night

Recently while pre-funking at Donovan’s house, a group of us played a hilarious new “all-gay” card game called Top2Bottom. If you’ve ever played Cards Against Humanity, this is similar to that except for the gays. If you’ve never played either of these games, get on it and brace yourself for some jaw-dropping, laugh out loud fun.

“Top2Bottom is the first gay card game of its kind – created for the gays, by the gays. This game is just as outrageous & dirty as you and your friends… maybe even dirtier. As simple to play as spotting a closeted republican, one player draws a pink card and reads it aloud, and each remaining player chooses one fierce white card to answer. To come out on top be the first player to pull out with six pink cards.”

You can order your own Top2Bottom game from their website here. It’s only 25 bucks for the 500 cards (125 Pink Question cards and 375 White Answer cards). Check out the rules and more pictures below.

Rules for basic bitches after the jump…

Tasty Holiday Season Drink Cocktails

In: Charge It, Donovan, Random Reads
holiday-season-drink-recipes

Today marks the official start to the hectic holiday season. Love this time of year. Being the good little hospitable gay that you are, I’m sure you’re hosting some sort of party in December. Whether it’s an open house, an intimate orphan Christmas dinner or a New Year’s extravaganza, I have a few tasty drink recipes you should give a try. I have a cocktail recipe to suit the tastebuds of any guest you’ll be entertaining.

The EFFEN Toasted White Cranberry and Sauza Cider Hot Toddy are perfect to accompany a lovely holiday feast or fireside conversation. The EFFEN Salted Caramel Chai Sangria brings just the right amount of spice to a traditional sangria cocktail, perfect for cutting that winter chill.  Mix up a batch that serves 20 and keep your guests happy all night long!  The Orange Truffle Delight is also the perfect accompaniment to any party and a breeze to whip up for multiple people in a flash. Check them all out below.

EFFEN® Toasted White Cranberry

Pictured above

  • 1 1/2 parts EFFEN® Salted Caramel Vodka
  • 1 3/4 parts White Cranberry Juice
  • 1/4 part Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 part Simple Syrup
  • Garnish: Toasted Coconut Flakes

Instructions
In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes.

check out more recipes after the jump

MADONNA’S HARD CANDY FITNESS® OPENS ITS DOORS IN TORONTO

New club location in the city’s downtown core now accepting memberships!

Hard Candy Fitness®, the global luxury fitness brand in partnership with Madonna and New Evolution Ventures (NeV), today announced the October 31st opening of Hard Candy Fitness Toronto located at 382 Yonge Street. The exquisite 42,000 sq. ft. facility is the brand’s first club in North America and the largest of all current Hard Candy Fitness gyms whose current locations include Rome, Sydney, Santiago, Mexico City, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Berlin.

“We are very excited about the opening of Toronto’s new Hard Candy Fitness,” said Leonard Schlemm, chairman and co-owner, of Hard Candy Fitness Toronto. “The club is in one of the city’s most beautiful condominium towers in arguably the most vibrant neighborhood in Toronto.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Fourth of July Drink Recipes

In: Charge It, Donovan

Happy Fourth of July to our American readers today. Hope ya’ll having a great holiday. In your honor, I decided to reach out to our friends at Sauza Tequila and Effen Vodka for a few tasty drink recipes to enjoy on Independence Day.

If the following cocktails are too fancy for your liking, my recommendation is to try Sauza’s newest innovation, the Sauza Sparkling Margarita. It’s perfect when you’re looking to spend less time behind the bar and more time entertaining.  Simply chill, pour and pop in a festive straw! As always, drink responsibility and don’t drink and drive.

Sauza® Stars and Stripes Margarita

7 1/2 parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila*
4 1/2 parts Dekuyper® Blue Curacao
1 13 ounce can frozen lemonade
1 light beer

Method: Combine all ingredients in a pitcher filled with ice. Serve over ice, with or without salt, garnish with a lime wedge or twist and enjoy! Salud! (Serves 7)

more drink recipes after the jump

Summer is just weeks away and that means pride is also right around the corner. So many people have started their “pride diets” and intensified gym programs to get that perfect 6-pack and chiseled physique just right for that pool party or beach day. While I always try to watch what I eat and go to the gym when I can (I’ll admit it’s not nearly as much as I should), like many people I tend to have those problem areas where I just can’t seem to lose weight and tighten up. For me it’s under my chin, and around the midsection. For some people, its on their hips or their legs. Whatever the case may be, I decided to try adding in Venus Freeze treatments to my summer regimen to see if I can’t come closer to that flatter midsection. (I think a 6-pack on me might be a little far fetched).

I first head about Venus Freeze when I was watching Real Housewives of Vancouver and saw Jody, Amanda, and Ronnie getting the treatments in Toronto. I was excited to learn that Phresh Spa in Vancouver had also recently begun offering the treatment and decided to book an appointment with them. Phresh Spa is a beautiful spa tucked away in the Sandman Hotel in Vancouver’s West End. Their staff are extremely welcoming and helpful and their facilities are gorgeous and comfortable. Before I talk about my experience there I should explain what the treatment is and how it works. According to venusfreeze.com

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Tasty Drink Recipes For Memorial Day Weekend

In: Charge It, Donovan

Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off summer for our American readers. It’s a time to bond with friends, enjoy the sun, relax and partake in some adult beverages. There’s nothing more refreshing than sipping an ice cold cocktail on a hot day at the beach. Don’t you agree? I’m sure you do.

With that in mind, I reached out to a few of our friends to whip up a few tasty concoctions to share. Check out the drink recipes below featuring Sauza Tequila, EFFEN Vodka and Crave Chocolate Liqueurs. Speaking of Sauza, if you haven’t checked out their hot lifeguard, I’ve included him below as well. Enjoy and drink responsibly.

Sauza® Mint Margito

  • 1 cup Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
  • 2 cups Club Soda
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 bunch of Fresh Mint
  • 3 tbsp. Sugar
  • Ice

How To Make

In a small pitcher, muddle together the mint leaves, sugar and lime juice until they start to melt together. Add your Sauza® Blue Silver. Fill 4 glasses with ice and pour cocktail mixture 3/4 of the way to the top of each glass. Fill each glass with club soda and garnish with a lime and an extra sprig of mint. (Serves 4)

plenty more drink recipes after the jump

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